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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 25486
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Hi - a club I know were granted a building at the end of

Resolved Question:

Hi -

a club I know were granted a building at the end of the First World War (1919 I think). Despite having sole possession of the building ever since, they never registered anything with the Land Registry - until 2010, when they registered Possessory Title.

The Land Registry guide suggests that you can only apply to upgrade possessory title after having it for 12 years. But elsewhere (on a legal firm's site) I see an example where, in a slightly different circumstance, a client submitted to the Land Registry a "statutory declaration" of longstanding prior possession, and that the Land Registry accepted the evidence and upgraded the title.

Is this something the club could try now, in order to let it apply to upgrade possessory title without waiting 7 years? They have a stack of evidence of their 90-year prior possession, as you might imagine.

Many thanks, XXXXX XXXXX on your service (and I understand the payment system!),

Nick Healey
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I ask if the club has any history of the land being mortgaged by the club or gifted from one party to another please?

Customer:

Hi - yes, they have the original documents of the grant, from 1919.

Joshua :

Sorry for the delay in reverting to you. May I ask the terms of the grant? Was the club gifted the building by the then owner?

Customer:

Yes, that's exactly how the club described it to me - it was gifted to them by the then owner.

Joshua :

Thanks. If you have a deed of gift of the property to the club then this can constitute a good root of title for the property which is capable of registration.

Joshua :

If you have a deed of gift for the property and the property has remainded in the same ownership from the date of this deed, or if not, you have evidence by way of further deeds showing how ownership of the property has transferred to its present owner, then you should have evidence sufficient to register an absolute title for the property rather than seek a possessory title.

Joshua :

Possessory applications are typically only require where deeds (such as the above) have been lost or never existed. However fro what you say here this is not the case and accordingly a normal application for voluntary first registration can be considered. Obviously whether or not such an application will succeed will depend upon the existence of the above deeds as you suggest exist but providing they do and the deeds describe the property adequately and the parties to the deed, then the application has every chance of success.

Joshua :

If deeds have beeen lost or never existed then unless they can be found all that remains open to the club would be an application for possessory title and then waiting the requisite 12 years to upgrade the title. It is only possible to upgrade the title earlier if further title documentation comes to light after the possessory application which proves title.

Joshua :

I cannot comment on the article you read on a legal firms website. However there is no loophole or magic way around the above requirements. The only way they could have upgraded their clients title is if they had either found lost title deeds or reconstruced those lost title deeds for example with copies and affidavits or the like.

Joshua :

Hopefully from what you say the club has deeds proving ownership and will therefore be able to apply for absolute title directly.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

That's absolutely wonderful, thankyou. No clarifications needed! Many thanks.

Joshua and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

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